IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Here’s the best way to load your dishwasher, according to a TikTok-famous grandma

"Brunch With Babs" is at it again with more viral household tips!

Barbara Costello, the woman behind "Brunch With Babs" on TikTok, uses her social media platforms to share a host of tips, from household basics to recipes and general life hacks.

In a recent installment of her “Bootcamp Babs” series, Costello shared over a dozen do’s and don’ts of loading a dishwasher and the video quickly amassed nearly 5 million views on TikTok.

Costello stopped by TODAY on Oct. 5 to demonstrate her tips in real time. Here are some of her top tricks!

Don't put wooden items or sharp knives in the dishwasher

A quality wooden cutting board can cost you a pretty penny, so Costello recommends keeping this pricey item out of the dishwasher.

"The detergents are going to just take off the finish. There's an oil in the wood, it'll crack eventually," she explained.

The same idea applies to an expensive set of kitchen knives.

"(The silver) is going to dull, (the dishwasher) is going to wear away the handle and hand," she said.

Do adjust your dishwasher's top shelf if you need more space

Apparently, the top shelf of a dishwasher can be adjusted if you want it to be higher or lower. Who knew?!

“There’s a handle and (the basket) can move, so you can pull it up or push it down,” she said.

Do put delicate items on the top shelf

The top shelf of your dishwasher should be reserved for delicate items like cups, glasses and small bowls. Here are some of Costello's tips for placing these items strategically:

  • Place your coffee mugs side by side but not touching so they don't crack. Your top rack has tines (those pointy things that hold dishes up) but you want your mug handles placed sideways rather than pointing outwards towards the tines.
  • Wine glasses can rest on the tines. Before putting them in, drop your top shelf so the stem can rest in the looped stabilizer to hold them in place.
  • Small bowls should go face down — "Your (dishwasher's) spray arm is going to have to spray that hot water (and) detergent right on it," Costello explained — and shouldn't be stacked on top of each other if you want to get them really clean.
  • Utensils like spatulas belong up top and can be nestled wherever you have extra space.

Don’t pre-rinse your dishes 

You might think you're making it easier for your dishwasher to do its job if you pre-rinse, but you're really not.

"You're wasting water, you're wasting energy," Costello explained. "You should scrape it right into the garbage."

The TikTok sensation explained why this approach is best.

"Your detergent has something to adhere to. If all the dishes are clean, you have a very inefficient dishwasher," she said.

Do arrange bottom dishes facing the center and vary the placement of your utensils

Ready to load the bottom shelf? Costello has shared the following tips:

  • Place your dishes facing the center of the dishwasher so they can all get cleaned by the spray arm.
  • Vary the placement of your utensils: "You could put your knives down so it's safe," she explained, adding that forks and knives can go up or down. "I like to put all the forks in one basket and all the spoons in another so when it's time to remove (it's easier)."
  • Spread your spoons out. You don't want them to "spoon," so to speak, because they won't get clean.
  • If you wash your pots and pans in the dishwasher, they should be placed in the front of the shelf.
  • The spray arms should be unobstructed.

Social media users are going wild over Costello's tips

After going viral on TikTok, Costello's video has made its way around Twitter as well, and social media users are obsessing over her simple yet impactful tips.

One Twitter user who shared the video in a tweet accompanied it with the caption, “I was today years old when I realized the top shelf in the dishwasher can be lowered.”

In the replies of the video on Twitter, one user shared an instructional video on how those with older appliances could lower their top rack if it didn’t appear to have a straightforward lever.

“Can’t find the lever on your old or cheap dishwasher? Don’t despair, they all have that feature, I promise!” they wrote in a tweet. “Sometimes the wheels run in the metal rail, so you have to turn a little plastic cover at the rail end first and need a little more patient to put the wheels back in.”

While the information about lowering the rack was the most popular, social media users also reacted to the other advice Costello gave.

“I kind of want to save this and send it to my dad, but I don’t want to start a fight,” one person tweeted. “That man hand washes everything before it goes in the washer.”

Another user added, “For years I never knew what the stabilizer was for (nor even what it was called), and it never occurred to me to look it up.”

In late September, Costello spoke to TODAY Parents about starting her TikTok account in with her daughter Liz Ariola in 2020.

“Everything has been a total surprise to me,” Costello said. “Sometimes you just can’t plan things. We’re having fun, we’re sharing things and we feel like our followers are family.”

She also shared the story behind one of her recent viral hacks for cleaning the interior of your car by using what she dubbed “Babs’ Magical Car Gummy Cleaner,” a homemade substance made of glue, baking soda and saline solution that can help pick up bits of dirt and dust from the deepest nooks and crannies of your vehicle. 

“The recipe came from my days as a preschool teacher,” Costello said. “We used to make silly slime, but we realized that slime had more than one function to entertain kids. It’s a really good cleaner for spots you can never get to.”